Home Away from Home

A Tribute to the Benito Family

There is a very special family who has made San Bartolomé home away from home this year. If it wouldn’t be for them, I would have packed my bags and returned to El Chal within 24 hours of arrival, that day back in January. And that is no exaggeration.

José and Tiburcia Benito have a story that only God could script. Their love story, as well as their journey toward God and salvation, as a couple, is worth hearing. Read Under His Wings for an introduction to that story.

The remains of the house Hna. Tiburcia grew up in, in a village across a mountain or two or six.

Today they fill a heavy impact role in this community and church. That puts them in direct line for heavy spiritual attack, and I would like to use this space to ask for your prayer support for them and their family.

Hno. José and Hna. Tiburcia have seven children; all but two are married. They would appreciate your prayers for those who have never received the Savior or have strayed from the Way. Their grandchildren respect them highly and several of them have embraced their grandparents’ faith. All but one of this clan live right here in San Bartolomé, and what a lively year of family times it has been.

Birthdays are ALWAYS a reason to get together, and then many other occasions call them together for late night, extravagant dinners as well. Hna. Tiburcia loves nothing better than to throw Quiché at me during these events to see if I’ll be able to understand and respond while the whole clan listens. The delighted raise of eyebrows when I pass the test or the gentle corrections when I don’t, provide an immediate report card. 🙂

What warms my heart is the welcome that we “extras” always receive. The open arms and home they offer has done so much.  Even if Hno. José has how many thousand people breathing down his neck to do something about the lack of water in town, he takes time to make sure there is water in my tank. He has a thousand more important ways to spend his time, but he will still bring a Sunday School book out to my house for me on Saturday night. I may never pay for the eggs I take from the warehouse. Not even I am going to give them to someone I go to visit.

Hna. Tiburcia always pouts when I mention leaving, even for a trip. My final departure in a couple weeks is somewhat a taboo topic in her presence. Unless I am willing to listen to sighs and gasps and “It just can’t be!”s. She is forever trying to shove more food my direction, and sometimes, like tonight, she just does it. She was bustling, serving our typical scrambled egg supper and then she remembered her fresh cheese. She set it out for the people at the table, then grabbed a bit and quietly slipped over to my chair. “There’s some cheese for you” she whispered and put it on my plate, whether I wanted it or not. I did want it. Her cheese is the best.

Care. It’s been a learning curve to receive it, in hundreds of unexpected ways.

Every time I try to slap out my clumsy tortillas, they are sure that I need to put a tortilla stand, either in Petén or in the States. (It’s their way of saying “We’re really proud of you for trying/learning to do this thing.”) They are convinced that if I would wear a corte and sell tortillas that people would throng after the “tortillas quichelenses”. LOL.  I can’t even flip them without a utensil!

I would love to write many long stories here. They have taught me more than they know, and have given me more than they can begin to comprehend. The pictures in this post and the next will show a few of the ways they took some of the lonely out of this year and gave me the precious gifts of their acceptance and loyalty. I am forever grateful. I pray that the Father will pour out His richest blessings into their lives for the blessing they have been to me, every day of this year here.



2 thoughts on “Home Away from Home

  1. I just read the story of José Benito surviving the truck explosion to my children this morning! I picked up a piece of paper on my desk today and when I typed in the blog name written on it imagine my surprise and delight to read San Bartolomé and José Benito! I don’t know how I found your blog name but I love God’s timing in when I looked it up! I’m excited to show it to my children!


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